Introduction by Carl Chinn: Today’s message is by Alan Hughes (One of the longest running thought leaders in this space of church security. Alan is from Ft. Myers, FL).
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.- Proverbs 4:23
I spend a lot of time studying the darkness and evil of men so that I can better protect against it. Several years ago, I started to realize that I wasn’t doing a good job of balancing what was going into my brain and, subsequently, into my heart. In response, I started to try to be more balanced in making sure that good was also on the menu.
My role is to protect, to defend. To use the gifts and abilities that God gave me to protect honors Him, but what fuels us matters. If our serving in safety is a manifestation of our love for people, we’re doing it right. If we’re doing it for any other reason, we’re not doing it right.
4 quick thoughts:
Are we guarding our hearts? It’s easy to go down the wrong path. We can spend so much time in the darkness and preparing for darkness that we start to lose sight of why we’re protectors. We can easily become filled with anger and the overflow of our hearts won’t reflect the God who we serve.
Balance matters. Monitor your heart. Spend time with the family you want to keep safe. Watch videos of babies laughing, listen to worship music. Be intentional about watching the balance.
Ask if there is actual value in the darkness to which you’re exposing yourself. In 2019, a killer shot up 2 mosques in New Zealand. He livestreamed the killings and published a long manifesto. The video was quickly taken down, but the manifesto was not. I did get a clean copy of the video to study. I learned things from it that help me protect innocent people. I did not read the manifesto beyond a few snippets. There was nothing in it for me to learn from. Nothing but darkness going in without any pay-off. Ultimately, when evil comes to your church doors, the why really doesn’t matter. Only the how does.
Have other outlets. It is very easy to get so consumed in being prepared, that other things suffer. Could that time be better spent being present as a parent or reading a book that helps you be a better man/woman/Christian?
Think About it.
Please, don’t allow our desire to protect people to become an idol of its own.
END Note by Carl Chinn: You can read this full article (longer with links to some pretty cool videos) at his website at https://ahughes2.wordpress.com/2021/09/16/above-all-else/
On that same page you can see other articles Alan has written over the last 10 years (even categorized by topic). Thank you for this Alan. And thank you too for all the help you have given to the larger church security community through the years!